For the world’s water supply, pressure is mounting beneath the surface.
Growing populations are relying on aging infrastructure and increasingly faulty traditional water systems – all of this amidst even greater climate goals.
In Germany, the pressure on water systems is manifesting in a literal sense, where a water pipe bursts every 30 seconds; 1.1 million cases of water damage, amounting to costs of more than 3 billion euros hit the country in 2019 alone.
Decisive actions are critical once traditional systems alone are no longer reliable. Innovation and digitisation must be at the forefront of a successful and sustainable approach.
The Internet of Things (IoT) can give us access to the data we need to closely monitor water supplies to responsibly manage and safeguard this valuable resource and reduce emissions.
Working with energy company E.ON to deploy a cross-industry, smart solution, we’re hoping to get to the bottom of Germany’s plumbing problems.
A smart collaboration
In a world where digitisation is essential to staying ahead and sustainable, a “smart” solution is no longer just about your expertise. Today, a smart solution uses IoT to unlock the potential of devices to securely and intelligently process and exchange data over communication networks.
By equipping water meters with intelligent wireless technology, water pipe damage can be detected much earlier, minimising water waste and safeguarding Germany’s resources.
Smart water meters monitor and detect irregularities in water consumption, offering a reliable, early indicator of possible pipe damage. IoT enables all data and error messages to be transmitted to users via mobile communications, enabling rapid intervention and avoiding expensive renovations at customer sites.
Companies and institutions in the Ruhr area currently benefit from almost 200 networked water meters across 30 locations and a further 1,000 networked, intelligent meters are to be installed by early 2023.
The new technology can be retrofitted to existing water meters in just a few simple steps – no replacement is required.
The technology will also be used on a large scale in private households. With the 'Water Heroes' app, users can keep an eye on their own water consumption with their smartphone and are immediately alerted if damage occurs.
Driving cross-industry innovation
“Both the energy industry and the telecommunications industry are facing a decade of disruptive changes. Maintaining the status quo is not enough.” Here Leonhard Birnbaum, CEO of E.ON, perfectly summarises the shared vision driving our partnership with E.ON.
With climate neutrality becoming a top priority, alongside growing uncertainty in the European energy sphere, innovation must not be a one-and-done affair.
Digitisation can upgrade critical infrastructures and safeguard energy resources. In the future, we plan to deliver similar smart solutions for electricity and gas, with the aim of saving resources and using energy responsibly, identifying faults at an early stage and offering new services.
As technology continues to advance, businesses that strive to be fit for the future need to think about laying the right foundations today for the technologies of tomorrow.